The situation in Afghanistan has left veterans, service members and their families with a range of emotions. From anger to sadness to betrayal, feelings are raw right now.
It’s vital for everyone to remember that as service members, we don't make policies – we follow orders. That's the nature of war.
If you served in Afghanistan, you were there to do a job. Your service still has meaning.
In The Frontline Generation, Army veteran Marjorie K. Eastman wrote, "How we served will define us – not who or what we fought against."
You swore to support and defend the Constitution … against all enemies. When our nation called, you answered.
You accomplished the mission you were assigned. You fought honorably.
There are many things we don't yet know. One thing we know for sure is that your service and sacrifice aren’t diminished by diplomatic outcomes.
To Gold Star families - your loved one showed the world what bravery looks like. Their service will have a ripple effect on generations to come. Nothing, and no one, can change that.
Right now, what's important is that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out for help.
If you have friends who served, check in and see if they're okay. Then ask again to be sure. It's okay if you don't understand how they're feeling or what they went through; just listen.